In-house corporate lawyers know the best way to never get caught is to eliminate your paper trail in subtle enough way to avoid the appearance that you’re eliminating your paper trail. This is where a corporate email archive deletion policy comes in.
If you delete relevant emails, after you have been sued, that is spoliation and it will get everyone down the line, especially you as an in-house lawyer, in a lot of trouble. BUT if you have a regular corporate policy of periodically deleting emails, and you happen to delete crucial evidence even on the day before a suit is anticipated, then it’s not spoliation.
While general counsel will claim publicly that these policies are in place to streamline their email systems, everyone knows they are really there to delete potentially incriminating evidence in future lawsuits.
Companies know that incriminating evidence always exists in emails because emails document the conversations and decision-making that goes on in all organizations. But they need a justification other than “We don’t want to get caught.” So that’s how you get corporate doublespeak like “e-mail stabilization and modernization” programs, with its vague suggestion that there is a technical reason to delete old emails, as if a company’s entire email system might crash under the weight of old emails stored on a server.
via Tech Crunch – The Only Reason Companies Delete Emails Is To Destroy Evidence